|Fast facts on Microsoft|
Microsoft is a United States-based multinational computer technology corporation that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of software products for computing devices and videogaming hardware.
Founded in 1975 by William Henry Gates III and Paul Allen, it first faced the gaming industry indirectly in 1998 by providing a custom version of Windows CE for the Sega Dreamcast, and became an active party in 2001 when they released the Xbox, a console supposed to challenge the Nintendo GameCube and the PlayStation 2. They later released the Xbox 360, in 2005, an improved version of the previous console, to survive the challenge against the Nintendo Wii and the PlayStation 3.
Microsoft also offers the Microsoft Live Arcade service.